John Wanyancha, SBL’s Corporate Relations Director, John Wanyancha said at the event that the beer-manufacturer‘s campaign on responsible drinking among students seeks to raise awareness against alcohol abuse among students at various institutions of higher learning in the country.
“Responsible drinking means more than just limiting yourself to a certain number of drinks; it also means not getting drunk and not letting alcohol control your life or your relationships,” Wanyancha told a group of students gathered at their respective campuses at MoCU and KCMC during the launch of the campaign in Kilimanjaro region.
He warned the students of the consequences of irresponsible drinking behaviour while suggesting ways to stem tragic alcoholism trajectory including, keeping alcohol in check by knowing one’s limits, making sure of own safety, drinking and not driving, avoiding mixing alcohol with other drugs, recruiting colleagues and friends with the same positive outlook towards responsible drinking and doing the right thing at the right time.
Observing that alcoholism was a complex issue that could only be addressed through a united effort, on a common objective, the SBL corporate affairs director called on both institutions’ teaching staff and other stakeholders to unanimously join hands to combat irresponsible drinking at the colleges and the neighbouring community.
“Understanding all the risks and staying aware of the risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption and the long-term repercussions thereof, are the hallmarks of a responsible drinker,” Wanyancha added.
SBL’s noble campaign needs support from all stakeholders because alcohol abuse among students is a serious threat to their future. To buttress the seriousness of alcohol abuse among students, various studies have shown that, especially those suffering from depression and anxiety, they can suffer from life-threatening effects due to excessive alcohol consumption.
It can significantly alter a person’s mind, which can make him/her act irrationally, a fact that’s confirmed by Alcohol Rehab Guide that observes that ‘students who face extreme mental instabilities are most at risk of attempting to commit suicide or other acts of self-harm due to alcoholism.’
SBL’s strategic mission of targeting higher learning institutions is significant because more than ever before, students, especially those in such institutions are engaging in excessive alcohol consumption oblivious of the inherent repercussions to their academic destiny, health and even the physical, psychological, social and financial burdens they pose to those around them.
According to Alcohol Rehab Guide (working under the auspices of Delphi Behavioral Health Group)-whose mission is to ‘offer in-depth information on alcoholism and the various treatment options available,’ every year, nearly 150,000 students put their health and others at risk globally due to excessive alcohol consumption.
Additionally, roughly 20 percent of college students ‘meet the criteria of having an alcohol use disorder’-a chronic disease characterized by uncontrolled drinking and preoccupation with alcohol. Perhaps the most poignant revelation from the Guide is that, annually, a little less than 2,000 college students aged between 18 and 24 years die from unintended alcohol-related injuries each year.
These are young and brilliant students who would otherwise have enjoyed a promising future but their destinies have been curtailed by unchecked intake of alcohol.
While it’s known that various organizations (especially non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other like-minded actors have been making efforts at fighting alcoholism among the general public and especially among students, it’s quite interesting, refreshing even, to note that beer-making companies are also now taking the cue and educating the people against irresponsible drinking habits.
SBL, Tanzania’s second largest brewer, is among those companies that have, over the years been engaging in robust campaigns to sensitize the public on responsible drinking and also the drivers and other road users on the importance of sobriety when using the roads.
Now the brewer has taken its crusade further, spreading its tentacles into the institutions of higher learning-places where a flurry of studies have shown that irresponsible drinking among students is leading to increased chances of developing AUD-which can cause serious physical and emotional damages.